157 in Illinois Apply for Health Outreach Dollars

CHICAGO (AP) -- More than 150 community groups in Illinois have applied for $28 million in federal funding to educate the public about new opportunities for health insurance under the national health law.

Gov. Pat Quinn's office announced Monday that 157 groups have applied for the in-person counselor program funding. Some of the applicants represent collaborations, meaning a total of 674 organizations are involved in the proposals.

Jennifer Koehler directs the Illinois health insurance marketplace. She says state officials are "very encouraged" by the strong interest.

Illinois officials estimate half of the customers of the new health insurance marketplace will require help reviewing their options. People who are uninsured will be able to comparison-shop for affordable health plans on these websites. Many will qualify for tax credits to help them pay for coverage.

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